When the San Francisco 49ers activated All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith from the non-football injury list one week ago, it wasn't clear if he would play in Week 10.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport confirmed on Friday's edition of NFL Network's "Around the League Primetime" that Smith will indeed play, albeit in a limited role as a situational pass rusher to highlight his strengths.
Niners defensive coordinator Vic Fangio noted that Smith looked "a little rusty" in practice this week. As expected, Smith's conditioning is at less than peak form after missing six weeks for treatment at a rehab facility.
Rapoport also echoed an earlier report by NFL Media columnist Michael Silver that Smith will have to earn his full-time role back over the next few weeks. Rookie pass rusher Corey Lemonier has exceeded expectations while filling in for Smith over the past month.
With Mario Manningham also returning this week, the 49ers' roster is restocking for Sunday's tilt with the surgingCarolina Panthers.
The latest "Around The League Podcast" previews every Week 10 game, including the heavyweight battle between the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers.